The village, once occupied by the first generation Hall family and farming staff, is centralized around a village green. The house was named Torburnlea by Grace Hall, wife of HL Hall, as it reminded her of the countryside in Scotland where she spent her childhood years. “Tor” is a small hill, “Burn” is a stream and “lea” is a valley.
Andrew and Kim Hall, your hosts, are fourth-generation family of the farming pioneer, HL Hall and his wife, Grace. Andrew, who runs Nguni Africa Tours, a luxury safari operating business, and his wife Kim, a physiotherapist, began restoring the property in 2012 with the dream of preserving the family heritage. Thought and passion have gone into the finest of details in this carefully restored homestead. With an interest in environmental sustainability, special attention has been given to the use of water and energy efficient fixtures, the use of re-cycled materials and locally sourced stone.
Previously hosted in Torburnlea, amongst other famous people, were President Jan Smuts, Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, author of the classic children’s book “Jock of the bushveld” and Harry Wolhuter (one of the first game rangers of the Kruger Park, who survived a lion attack while patrolling the reserve on horseback).
The Halls, during an unscheduled stop of The White Train at the nearby railway siding on the family farm, entertained the royal party with King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (The Queen Mother) and the princesses whilst on a royal visit to the Lowveld in 1947. There are many other stories and interesting facts for Andrew to relate as he shows you around their home. Ask to be shown his wine cellar, previously used by his great grandmother, Grace Hall, to store her farm preserves and cured meat.